Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
This was mine new in 1979 and I raced in for a few years around that time. It has languished for many years, and it now getting restored to its former glory with a set of nice condition period Super Record, Cinelli, Fiamme Ergal etc. I still have a few bits to get (chain, cluster, gear levers), and a few yet to clean up and install (brakes and front derailleur)
The stem and seatpost and BB are period Japanese high end bits, but will get replaced in due course with Cinelli and Campag SR. The pedals have titanium axles, and I am inclined to fit a titanium BB to match. The wheels are really light with 28 spoke Fiame Ergal rims and Vittoria Corsa CX Squadra Prof tyres. This bike is really not getting set up for regular use.
I have a Brooks Prof saddle to fit, once I find my 10mm spanner
Not sure where it is going to live yet. Even my wife and kids like it.
I have been given permission to hang it over the bed. (really) but it will probably get hung in the hall, or perhaps on the wall in my office at work.
I did suggest it could sleep in the middle, but this didn't get a lot of support.
I have 3 more bikes under way, but they will be more for riding and will live in the garage.
That is a really great looking bike. Looking at it without any gears and brakes it is just screaming out to be a single speed or fixed wheel.
Is the chrome all original with just a polish?
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Yep, the chrome is original. The frame chrome is pretty good because the paint job it got in 1991 went over the chrome, and fortunately the painter was slack and didnt sand or sandblast the chrome. The forks are also original chrome but in not such perefect condition, and will need to kep waxed. They still look OK though and I dont intent to get them re chromed.
It does look nice minimalist, but it wont be going singlespeed. I have a Colnago frame I may do that to.
I spent some time looking at your photos in the link. The more I look at your Falcon the more I like it. Love that British look with the rap-around seat stays. It will look amazing with all the clamp-on stuff (levers, cable guides, etc). The 1st gen. rear derailleur is a wonderful feature and would look nice with a 4 hole Record front derailleur.
Campy dropped the 4 holes soon after introduction probably because the rear hole was in the high wear area of the cage. They can be found on ebay and the price is usually 'reasonable". I got one for about $50.
The titanium BB would be an interesting addition. Even though it is a latter model item (80's) it would go nicely with the pedals as you suggest. The 2nd version had locknuts and was stronger than the 1st version - but you probably know this. The ball size was smaller than the SL bottom bracket so you would need the complete bottom bracket. (I converted an SL to titanium BB once and it was quite a difficult task.)
I suppose you will have to consider whether you fit it out with Campy pre or post 1978 components. As you probably know, Campy had to re-design some of their components to meet safety requirements. I would go for the pre-78 stuff to match the rear derailleur (I suppose that might exclude a 4 hole front derailleur) as well as the clamped-on bits and pieces.
What really interests me, if you go the Ti route, is how much your Falcon would weigh? With the 28 spoke wheels and a Cinelli 1a stem I bet you would have quite a light bike.
Anyway, thanks for the photo link (good to see the Magni as well),
Am I the only one here who thinks a brand new Centaur groupset and brand new Vento or Scirocco silver wheelset would look great on that bike. You can get that for $1000 or less at TotalCycling at the moment. Even a CF Ultra Torque crank set would look good against that colour.
I am not an expert on the exact period of Campag parts. I used Dura Ace mostly "when I was a lad".
Assume the frame is a 1978, although it could be a 79. I have a 3 hole Super Record FD
The brake calipers have flat QR levers and Brev Inter. on the calipers (model 4061 I think). I believe this dates them as a 74 to 76 model.
I had assumed the SR FD was available during the 70's, but looking it up, it seems not!.. I have a record version that looks the same apart from being silver rather than black, but I now see that was also only made from 1982. Back to searching on eBay!
I do beleive the titanium pedals were available from 1974. Ref: Velobase.
They also have the titanium axle from "late 70's?" If there is a more difinitive answer to this, it would be nice to hear. I am not hung up on having a titanium BB, especially if it is the wrong period.
Thanks for the valuable pointers on this!
Hi once again Roger,
Mountgower's suggestion is quite valid; the Falcon would look great with a later Campy groupset (you'd have to widen the rear dropout space). It all depends on what you want. I understand DuraAce stuff is quite cheap - no one seems to want it - but it's top shelf.
Personally - I reckon your bike deserves Campagnolo - it's a great bike.
velo-retro.com has a really useful Campagnolo timeline that I use all the time.
What have you got? Apart from the lack of braze-on's your frame has the longer rear dropouts. A shorter version was available around 1974. This places your frame well and truely in the 70's. Your hubs look great and have conical quick release nuts - pre '78. There is probably a date stamp on the washers behind the hub locknuts if you could be bothered looking. Your brake callipers are pre '78 (flat quick release).
Your front derailleur has annodised black arms and must be post 1982. I'd keep it for the Magni.
Your Super Record rear derailleur is very collectable and must be worth $300+. This, I feel is a 'must have on the Falcon' item. Your titanium spindled pedals are very collectable also. Must be worth $300+ as well.
I still suggest pre 78 Campy bits.
Things I think you need:
1. A record front derailleur without a lip on the leading cage edge.
2. An old 2 bolt Super Record seatpost (with flutes). Looks like you have one on the bike already.
3. Clamp-on shifters with the black cable guides - hard to find.
4. Record cranks with super record chainrings (inner web eliminated). The pre 1978 cranks had a narrow crank arm to chainring clearance (widened in 1978). Cranks have a date stamp - see Campy. Timeline.
5. Brake levers with holes in the arms - (Super Record)
6. An alloy Super Record headset was available in 1974. It appears that you have a Campy, alloy headset but the Campy. spacer/washer is missing - no real problem though.
7. I'd keep the pedals - just can't resist them.
8. I'd get a Record steel Bottom Bracket. ( I would guess that your bike would have a British threaded BB.)
I think titanium hub axles are as rare as hens teeth.
I know that this is my 'wish list' for your bike so I'm sorry if I got carried away. I would love to have lovely British bike like yours.
Best of luck.
I am very interested in your comments on the age of the frame. It could have been hanging in the bike shop for a while before I bought it. I have assumed it is 78ish, but your comments make me think it may be older. Did they stop using the long dropouts during the 70's?
I have the Campag SR headset spacer, but the forks dont have enough thread for it. The bike came with a record headset new (I still have it, in good condition), and it wouln't take a spacer then either. I guess Falcon weren't perfect huh?
The seat post is a late 70's early 80's Japanese Super Record copy, a Sugino Mighty, It is a nice post and a two bolt design. I am in no rush to replace it. The stem is a period SR (as in SR brand, not Super Record) Royal, which is a good copy of a Cinelli and is routed on the sides and top. Again, in no rush to replace this. The seatpost is what I had at the time, although this isn't my original one.
I happen to have a complete set of Dura Ace NOS EX (with black hubs, drilled chainrings, black derailleurs and shifters) in the cupboard. It was originally intended for another frame I had owned once and had hoped to reacquire (A Centurion Professional 1978), but this has not eventuated and I now know that frame was eventually destroyed in an accident. So I am looking for another 70's frame deserving of that kit. I now have everything but a DA stem and period 36 hole rims for the DA black hubs I have. I have some MKS pedals to go with that build.
I am not sure what you mean by Black cable guides for the Campag shifters. I may have some already, I thought the chrome had come off the guide (it has a hole for the cables to go through). I will dig them out.
The hubs are a mixture. The rear is a NOS I got from Italy (I now know it has an Italian thread (bugger). and the front hub I picked up locally and have rebuilt, so not really a matching set, but who cares? I cant tell the difference.
The brake levers are NOS Super Record.
I will start shopping for the right front derailleur.
Thanks again for the great help on this!
Wow, either way you go here we will be seeing an awesome bike.
I have a set of black dura ace hubs (wheels) I am waiting for the right rig to assemble this to, speaking of older DA ex or ax does anyone know if I need a specific pedal spanner for those oversize pedal axles for the those cranks/pedals?
Sugino Mighty seatpost - top shelf
SR stem - top shelf
I'd use them too - until I came across what I was after.
The headset spacer / washer - they look good but if it doesn't fit - who cares.
The DuraAce components sound very attractive and would complement the bike. I have to admit that I am really into Campy stuff and my advice could be a little one sided. I'm still rooting for Campy to go with your great pedals and rear derailleur - but I know 'Rome wasn't built in a day'.
The Campy gear lever clamps of that era had a plate on either side of the clamp that the levers stopped against. The cables came from the levers and passed through a small round guide that was also attached to the plates. These 'plates' (for want of a better description) were black in colour - similar to the colour and appearance of a gun barrel.
I may be wrong but I think a British threaded freewheel will fit onto an Italian threaded rear hub (but don't constantly keep taking the freewheel off and on). The hubs look great and, as you say, can't tell the difference.
It's really good fun planning a rebuild especially with a great base such as the Falcon frame - thanks Roger.
This frame is definately not getting the Dura Ace gear, so rest easy all you Campag fans.
The English freewheels I have go on easy about 80% of the way and then get tight. A french 6 speed freewheel goes on easy the whole way.
I have now read that the French thread is a 1mm pitch vs 25.4 for the English as Italian, which would explain the tightening up. So it seems I need a 5 speed French freewheel, which I dont have. No problem, I dont have a chain yet either.
Thanks for the vote of confidence in the stem and post.
Very nice bicycle....don't you dare turn it into a single speed
What is the frame number? Maybe that can tell you the year of manufacture?
I don't know about Falcon but the 'long' rear dropouts were still being used in the UK by Holdsworth/Claud Butler well into the late 70's early 80's. Using up stock maybe?
Hi Richard, no chance of it becoming a singlespeed, although I did actually race this frame on the (grass) track once or twice in NZ.
There is little history available on Falcons. I bought it new in 79 I think, so unless it was old stock then, it should be a late 70's frame.
Sweet, you could give that darlin' a full modernisation and just sit back and smile at all the oglers
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Thanks Minority, I hadn't seen that catalogue. Interesting to see the decals. My bike was originally a dark blue, but I preferred the pale blue it is now, which appears to be a common colour of Falcons for the peiod.
I am not sure the decals are exactly right, but are what were available.
This link http://www.classicrendezvous.com/British_isles/Falcon/Falcon_Jerry_Moos.htm shows some pics of another falcon of the same model with the same decals, so it confirms I do have a valid set. I am getting the idea there were quite a few variants of the decals, probably year specific. In any case, if I ever find out I have the wrong decals for the year, I wont be doing anything about it.
I have also tonight fitted the Brooks tan saddle and a set of shifters, which both look great. The levers have great chrome, but aren't the model with the cable stop. I am bidding on a French freewheel, and have ordered a NOS chain. After that I just need cables and bar-plugs. I have some good christophe XL toeclips and NOS straps as well, which I will fit so it is rideable.
I am not sure I want to glue the tyres on though, so it might be a gentle ride up the street and back. I may use a second set of wheels if I want to actually ride this bike.
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